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Fortean Times

Fortean Times 397

Fortean Times chronicles the stranger side of life, delivering a heady mix of weird world news, up-to-date reports and features on every aspect of the unexplained: myths, monsters, ghosts and UFOs rub shoulders with ancient wonders and future science, while expert columnists bring you the latest on everything from cryptozoology to conspiracy theory. Open-minded, well informed and maintaining a healthy sense of humour, Fortean Times is the only place to go for a sensible look at our mad planet – it will change the way you see the world.

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
not of this earth?

In this issue, we revisit an almost forgotten case of high strangeness from the 1970s – the mystery of the ‘Risley Silver Man’, in which an alien invasion appeared to be targeting a highly sensitive British nuclear research site. Late one night in March 1978, a service engineer called Ken Edwards was driving home from a union meeting. His route took him past what was then the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) site at Risley; and it was here that he saw a 7ft-tall silver man cross the road, shoot light beams from his eyes, and pass through a chain-link security fence. Over the years, various increasingly outlandish theories have been mooted to explain what must count as one of the oddest UK close encounters on record (our favourite…

3 min.
french horse rippings

A series of grisly horse killings and mutilations has shocked rural France, with police struggling to find either the culprits or a motive. So far this year, at least 15 horses, mares, ponies, mules and donkeys have been found dead in various areas of France, with parts of their bodies mutilated; another five were found wounded but alive. Some had their throats slashed, others had been stabbed in the heart or knocked out with bricks. Eyes, muzzles, and sometimes genitalia had been cleanly severed. In almost every case the right ear had been carefully removed. The latest attack took place in Deux-Sèvre, where a mare was discovered on 24 August in a field near Mauléon, dead and mutilated, with her right ear cut off. Other recent attacks were reported from Sainte-Colombesur-Gand, in…

4 min.
knitting website makes people ill

In mid-June, popular knitting and crochet site Ravelry.com altered the design of its webpages. The Bostonbased site was founded in 2007; by March 2020 it had a reported nine million registered users. Soon after the redesign, some site visitors began reporting various ailments, including migraines and seizures. As news of these health problems spread among users, it was alleged that even viewing a screenshot could make people unwell. Some visitors claimed they had fallen ill as soon as looking at the site; others argued for a delayed action effect, with illnesses coming hours or days afterwards. Dr Robert Bartholomew, a specialist in mass psychogenic illnesses (see FT253:30-37; FT316:36-40; FT359:22 and passim; FT372:22-23) regards this as a classic case. He noted that soon after the new website design went live, a user…

6 min.
covid corner

CORONA-DREAMING Many people have reported experiencing unusual or more vivid dreams during the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns. One explanation for the increased vividness of some people’s dreams is that being confined at home deprives the brain of external stimuli. And as compensation, the brain generates additional ‘sense data’ in dreams. Another explanation is that working people usually spend their lives in a state of mild sleep deprivation (waking up early for the commute to work). Now that many people are on furlough or working from home, they’ve switched off their alarm clocks and are consequently enjoying a full night’s sleep each night; which, it’s been suggested, means increased REM sleep and therefore more intense dreams. Susan Wardell, a social anthropologist at New Zealand’s University of Otago, has established an online project…

7 min.

CUPBOARD LOCK-IN A Sheffield pub lost its licence after police found drinkers hiding in cupboards during the coronavirus lockdown. The Pitsmoor Hotel in Sheffield was raided by police on 24 April after reports it was still serving customers, and issued with a prohibition order. But when they returned the next day, officers found people in cupboards and on the roof “to make it look like no one was inside”. BBC News, 24 June 2020. EMUS BARRED Kevin and Carol, a pair of friendly emus who wander around Yaraka in Queensland, Australia, have been barred from the town’s only pub after leaving droppings on the floor and stealing toast. toast.theguardian.com, 28 July 2020. DOG SHOOTS DRIVER An Oklahoma woman, Tina Springer, 44, was a car passenger when she was shot in the thigh by a Labrador…

4 min.
child catchers

BOGUS SOCIAL WORKERS A Hull mum has warned other parents to be on the alert for two men claiming to be from social services who attempted to gain entrance to her home in order to take away her child. The mother of one, living in the Wold Road area of west Hull, said the men had knocked on her door on Tuesday 5 May at around 4.30pm, telling her they needed to come inside to “remove her child from my care until further notice.” One was wearing a suit. She described them as at first “convincing”, but said they began to get “shifty” when asked for ID and documents proving that the removal of her child had been officially authorised. One of the men flashed an ID card, but so quickly…